Note: Originally reviewed on Aug 02, 2015 via Goodreads / Julie aka Gpangel.
This book is the prequel to “The Thornless Rose”, which was originally released in 2014. I loved that book so much, I was thrilled to discover we were invited to learn the back story which will be Catherine and Jonnie, and to some extent, Arthur's story.
Time travel romance is one of those hit and miss things with me. It has to be done just so or I end up rolling my eyes at the absurdity of it. But, this storyline is smart and well written with realistic situations and characters.
The historical setting in post war England was obviously researched , creating a very authentic atmosphere, giving the reader an idea of what it was like to live in this era of time.
The real enjoyment I gained from the book came in getting to know Jonnie a little better, but mostly from meeting Arthur whose role is more critical than is stated. I enjoyed the in depth portrayal of the events leading up to “The Thornless Rose” and the insight into Catherine's mind set, her personality and feelings in 'real time' as opposed to her looking back on these events in “The Thornless Rose”. It was interesting to see how her relationship with Jonnie compares to her relationship with Arthur and why the couple felt to strongly about learning the truth behind Jonnie's disappearance.
Does it matter which book you start with? Well, truthfully, you would be just as well off either way, but in this case I recommend starting with “The Thornless Rose”. If you have not read that book, and want to start with this one, then you will want to keep in mind this book is simply a gateway to the next one. “The Thornless Rose” is one of the best time travel books I had read, and this one, for me, made my understanding richer and deepened my love for this story. I recommend reading both books, because they certainly compliment one another and make great companions to each other. Either way you will love this story!
I do hope their will be future installments in this plotline. It is certainly a unique twist on the time travel trope and is really very absorbing. I recommend this book to those who like historical, paranormal, and time travel romance novels.
In the final days of World War II, Catherine Hastings meets the man she wants to marry. Flight surgeon Jonathan Brandon isn't just handsome?he's everything Catherine could hope for in her betrothed. But her dream of a happily ever after is shattered when Jonnie vanishes before their wedding, leaving Catherine bereft, broken-hearted, and with a lifetime of unanswered questions.
Arthur Howard is smitten with the lovely Catherine the moment he sees her. He's certain he's found the woman he wants to marry. Yet behind Catherine's sparkling green eyes is a haunted look?the look of a woman who has known loss. Can he love a woman who still grieves the loss of her fiancé? Arthur must find answers to the mystery surrounding the man Catherine intended to marry. What he discovers is a truth far stranger than fiction.